Should I replace this queen

Discussion in 'Beekeeping 101' started by beewitched, May 16, 2012.

  1. beewitched

    beewitched New Member

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    We installed this package and queen on April 30th along with another package on new wax foundation. Back on April 15th we installed 2 other packages with queens on new plastic foundation (both of them are doing very well) along with the 2nd package from the 30th. However, It looks to me like this laying is a little spotty and was curious if I should cull her and wait a day or two and place a frame of eggs from my best hive( which is on plastic foundation) and place it in this then queenless hive? What should I do? Thanks in advance for the help!

    http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w415/Melissaegardens/DSCN1028.jpg
    http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w415/Melissaegardens/DSCN1027.jpg
    http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w415/Melissaegardens/DSCN1026.jpg
    http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w415/Melissaegardens/DSCN1024.jpg
    http://i1074.photobucket.com/albums/w415/Melissaegardens/DSCN1025.jpg
     
  2. Bsweet

    Bsweet Member

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    1. Looks like alot of the open cells in and around the capped brood also have younger brood that are not capped yet.

    2. If your bees are hygenic the scatered open cells could be from cleaning affected larvie.

    3. Sometimes it takes a young queen a while to get her act together and as she has only been laying for about 2 1/2 weeks I would waite at least another 4 weeks before I got to worried about her pattern.

    But thats just my 2cw. Jim
     

  3. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    Are these frames from the centre of the brood nest or along the edges? It looks like they are getting plugged with incoming nectar maybe? The queen can only lay where there are open cells, and sometimes she gets blamed for circumstance beyond her control. I see larvae in some of the open "spotty" cells. Maybe just transfer a good solid frame of capped brood that is about to emerge and see if the queen "refills" it with a nice solid pattern. For instance, if you place a frame with a spotty brood pattern into a good hive, what will that queen do as the baby bees emerge at irregular intervals?
    Just my opinion, sometimes I am a bit soft when it comes to squishing queens. Another option may be to just pull her and set her up in a nuc made up with a couple of frames of bees from your strong hive and let this hive requeen itself without having to pinch her up front. You can always combine later with the best of the queens ruling.
     
  4. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    After only 2 weeks from install, maybe you should pull her and send her to me. I think she is doing a fine job.
    Check again in 2 more weeks and I think you will be much happier.
     
  5. beewitched

    beewitched New Member

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    Interesting you should ask Perry. for some reason this hive started drawing out comb on the outside frames when they were installed with the frame in the middle and otherside mostly left alone. I moved the brood to the middle with empty frames between that and the small amount of nectar only frames. Trying to fix the odd orientation they had started. I am relieved that she may yet be okay. Just been an odd hive so far. Thanks everyone!
     
  6. dr.buzz

    dr.buzz New Member

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    You probably didn't do any permanent damage, but if it was me, I'd have left that alone. It's not odd at all what they did. I've noticed that often a small swarm or split that I make up will move over to one corner of the box and start there. Like, I don't have small nuc boxes. Everything I do starts in a deep hive body. If it's a 3 frame split, I'll put their 3 frames in up against one wall of the box with a dummy board made of cardboard or rigid foam insulation against the outside of the third frame. I do that because you want a small colony like that to be able to generate the necessary heat to draw comb. You just don't want a small colony to have too much empty space around them. I'll move the dummy board over and add empty frames as they need them and can draw them out. Sometimes, like I mentioned, if I get a big swarm, and throw them in a box of empty frames, they'll need all that room and cover all the frames, but if I have a small swarm and throw them in a box of all empties (no dummy board) and check back on them, they'll be in one of the top corners. I don't know, but I always assumed that was because they could retain their heat better in a corner where there were two solid walls and a ceiling. One time I even put a frame of drawn comb in the middle of a box of empty frames just to test it. I put a medium sized swarm in there, thinking surely the queen would like drawn comb to begin laying eggs as soon as possible, right? Nope. Too much empty space, too few bees. They all crowded up into a corner of the box and started drawing comb from scratch, ignoring the frame of drawn comb in the center of the box.

    So if that's what your little package was doing, it's maybe because you put too few bees in the middle of a box and they went where they needed the proper conditions to exist for drawing comb. And remember, be careful just putting empty frames between their nectar frames and brood frames, if I read you correctly. It takes a lot of nectar to raise brood and they usually put it where they need it.
     
  7. Iddee

    Iddee New Member

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    A lot of good info there.

    :goodpost:
     
  8. PerryBee

    PerryBee New Member

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    I think what the good Dr. is saying and it is something that some of us need reminding of every now and then, is that bees have been around for a long, long time (probably back when tec and Iddee were young'uns) :lol: and have survived without our intervention quite nicely. I am guilty at times of thinking I know how to better arrange their interior decor but in hindsight I should probably defer to their expertise. :wink:
     
  9. riverbee

    riverbee Active Member

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    to iddee and perry's post, great info dr. buzz.
    also perry, kind of like when my mother comes to visit, she either rearranges my furniture or the furniture in a hotel room? :lol:
     
  10. jim314

    jim314 New Member

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    Very good thought. I have also noticed that small swarms tend to start out at one side of the box. I had always thought it was the queen moving away from the light of the entrance, but your idea makes more sense.:thumbsup:
     
  11. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a dr buzz snip..
    I do that because you want a small colony like that to be able to generate the necessary heat to draw comb. You just don't want a small colony to have too much empty space around them. I'll move the dummy board over and add empty frames as they need them and can draw them out.

    tecumseh:
    first I am not certain what a 'dummy board' might look like or do? perhaps a follower board?

    a lot of times when I move a small nuc to a full size box I set it up on one side of the box or the other < for one thing I think being tucked into the corner the nest is easier to defend and likely as dr buzz suggested easier to keep warm in cooler weather. even on established hives I have noticed that a lot of queens begin rearing (in the late winter or early spring) out towards the outside edge of the box and rarely do they choose the center frame to begin rearing brood <I have always assumed this is a matter of heat since invariable it tends to be on the side of the box facing the sun.
     
  12. beewitched

    beewitched New Member

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    Well, It seems the bee felt like she needed to go. We did an inspection on Saturday morning didn't see any eggs. It had 5 to 6 day old larvae and about 5 supercedure cells and a several emergency cells. Two of the supercedures were capped and the other were probally about to be capped as the larva looked like 7 day old should look. There was about three and 1/2 frames of 50-75% capped brood as well as three of frames of stores. We are now in a severe drought and we had started feeding 1:1 to them again about 2 1/2 weeks ago. I don't expect to get much if any surplus honey this year so I thought I'd take this time to try a split with them and see how it goes. I did give the moved hive some pollen substitute because they lost their foragers with the split. I'd guess 20k bees in the orginal hive now and approximate 15k in the other one. I put two brood frames in each with a 2 frames of stores in the new location and one in the orginal location. I know I probally should have not tried to split them but this is our first year and I thought I'd make a learning excerise for next year. I am curious with the low populations when would be the right time to add brood from a couple of donor hives? I would guess from previous inspections that the capping of the supercedure cells was friday. Thanks for the input.
     
  13. tecumseh

    tecumseh New Member

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    a snip..
    I know I probally should have not tried to split them but this is our first year and I thought I'd make a learning excerise for next year. I am curious with the low populations when would be the right time to add brood from a couple of donor hives?

    tecumseh:
    woulda, shoulda, coulda??? since by definition bee keeping is agriculture and in most agricultural pursuits we have no crystal ball to give us a heads up on what the weather or season will be like 30 days or 6 months down the road flailing yourself over what you could or should have done is really pointless. we all set our money down in this little endeavor and take our chances.

    most likely the rewards down the road from the experience gained this year in splitting will pay nicely in the future. at the very least the experience paves the way for having a better idea in the future of expectations that match reality and an understanding of the kind of problems one is likely to encounter.

    and good luck..